Spreading my wings in Singapore

By Indah Arifiyanti Roesyanto, current full-time SMU MBA student

I am Indonesian, and studying in the US had been my dream ever since I was in high school. However, with the boom of emerging markets, I decided that it might be more beneficial for me to take up a postgraduate programme in Singapore instead.

I originally joined SMU with certain doubts on my mind, especially since I didn’t have much previous experience studying or working with people from a variety of different cultures. I’d also heard a lot about the “kiasu-ism” of Singaporean students. Luckily for me, my doubts were cleared very quickly when I got to know my wonderful batch-mates. SMU has a competitive environment, but it’s a healthy kind of competition that motivates all of us. In addition, the MBA programme has been about friendships, helping each other and of course having crazy times together!

Over the past seven months, I have met and worked with amazing people from my batch from many different races and nationalities. It is my privilege to be surrounded by smart, driven people who are not only my study partners, but also my ‘life teachers’. We have bonded over our course of study, and also over our shared love of travel: so far I’ve holidayed with my batch-mates in Phuket, with more holidays and trips to come.

Besides our leisure travel, my batch-mates and I have also had great exposure and learning opportunities through SMU MBA’s overseas student exchange programme. I’ve just returned from Madrid, Spain, where I attended a week-long programme of classes at IE Business School, together with IE students and others from SMU MBA. This was a valuable inter-cultural experience, and it helps that the exchange programme also counts towards our total course credits.

The SMU MBA has also provided invaluable resources in the area of career services. My career advisor, Chai Chew, is amazing! He has been a great support to me in boosting my confidence, helping me with mock interviews, and making himself available whenever I had any questions or doubts.  Previously, I was concerned that it might be difficult to secure an internship outside of my previous background, which is tax. Thanks to Chai Chew’s coaching and guidance, I received my first internship offer less than three months after beginning the SMU MBA.

So far I’ve gone for more than 30 internship interviews in total, and by early June 2015, I received offers from many great companies. Besides landing a great internship, in which I’ve loved every second that I spent in the company, I also had the opportunity to meet leaders of industry in the course of my internship interviews. I am truly grateful to SMU MBA for opening these doors for me, and helping me to capitalise on the current wave of interest in emerging markets such as my homeland of Indonesia.

Furthermore, now that I’ve made like-minded friends and contacts during my time in SMU MBA, I’m confident that I’ll be able to tap on them as potential investors and business partners when I eventually realise my long-term goal of starting my own business.

I am looking forward to experiencing more great things and knowing my MBA friends more! For sure, completing my MBA won’t be an easy journey, but it will definitely be one that’s challenging and amazing.